Category Archives: Musings

CALL ME ANYTIME… When a friend, or a friend you’ve never met, throws you a lifeline.

This is for Marty T.

We’ve all been there… so far down in the dumps the only way out is by hanging onto the arm of a friend who PULLS you up – so that you can see the light.

Michael Johnson is a wonderful friend who has said the exact right words to so many people, so often.

I hope this missive falls upon the eyes that need it today.  Remember that both the giving or the getting –  heals.

Throwing My Loop…
By:  Michael Johnson


I would use the word “elegant” to describe her. That’s what I was thinking as she approached. Smartly dressed and attractive, the word “competent” came to mind. She said, “I know you are about to go on stage for the teachers, but I just wanted to tell you I met your wife earlier.” She pointed over in the direction of Sherry. “She is delightful. She has joy in her spirit.” She stood looking at Sherry for a moment, then she said, “Even though it was only for a short time, it helped me to meet her today.”
“Thank you for the kind words,” I said. “She is a blessing.”
After the presentation, Sherry was working the book table and as I finished signing books, I became aware the woman had been standing nearby for some time. “Did you need me for something?” I asked her.
“Yes,” she said, with the same bright smile and that same elegance. “I wanted to ask you a question.” She paused for a moment, looked down, then raised her eyes to mine. The smile was gone.
“I lost my husband two years ago,” she said. “He passed away…suddenly…unexpectedly.”
Another pause. Still looking down, she said, “I’ve been fighting…but I’m losing. I can’t get untracked. I’m afraid the grief is going to devour me.” And she stopped.
The world changed. One minute we’re laughing and talking, the next I felt like I was in one of those movies where the camera does a 360 circle around two people and no one else is in the room. Silence.
“What is your question of me?” I asked…stalling for time, praying I could think of something to say.
She looked up at me. I could see her eyes glistening, and she said, “People do get over things like this. Don’t they?”
“Yes, they do,” I said.
“Do you think I should see a psychiatrist, or a psychologist, or a Christian counselor perhaps? I haven’t done that.”
“If you do,” I said, “it must be someone who has lived through that ordeal and come out on the other side – someone who has found new reasons to live. I can tell you that ‘I understand how you feel,’ but if I haven’t lived what you’re going through, I don’t have a clue ‘how you feel.’ ”
“Where on earth am I going to find someone like that?” she asked with desperation in her voice.
“You already have,” I said.
“What?” she asked. “What on earth are you talking about?”
“You already have found someone like that,” I said – and I pointed over to my wife.
She looked at Sherry. Her eyes widened. She put her hand over her mouth.
“Her?” she said.
“Yes, her,” I said. “She was married to a fighter pilot. He flew off on a mission in Viet Nam and never returned. She was twenty-two years old.”
“How did she survive that?” she asked.
“I don’t know,” I said. “Let’s go ask her.”
Sherry was putting the books in boxes with her back to us. As we were the only ones in the room, it was safe to talk. “Dear, you remember Jane you met earlier?” I said.
Sherry turned and said, “Certainly.”
“You remember the trial you lived through we talk about sometime?” I asked her.
She stared at me for a time, eyes blank – hiding the memory from the world.
“Yes,” she said without emotion.
“Well, it seems Jane is having that same experience. It happened some two years ago now. I was just thinking maybe it might be helpful if you two talked on the phone some time?”
Same blank look. Then she said, “Yes.” I wondered if I had over-stepped my bounds here, but then she turned away and after retrieving a bookmark, wrote something on it. She handed it to the woman. “My phone number,” she said – with a little smile.
The woman looked at the number and said, “These three digits after the number…247…is that your extension?”
“No,” said Sherry, “it’s not 247…those are my hours of availability if you ever want to talk…I’ll be there 24/7.”

What the world needs now is love…and hope. When someone is in trouble and you say, “Call me anytime,” love and hope come into the world.

“If either falls down, one can help the other up.”
Ecclesiastes 4:10

Michael Johnson and Blue.

Any Sunday Starbucks donations today?!  We are so close!  Every bit adds up!  MARCH BUCKET FUND HORSE, SWAYZE, NEEDS SURGERY TO SURVIVE.  His Drop in the Bucket Fund (story here) only needs $340 to give him his lifesaving surgeryJust a few drops will add up!  Thank you in advance!

Do you have Starbucks money to donate to this very handsome gelding?  He has fought so hard to live!  Thank you!!  Make a 100% tax deductible donation here!

HORSE AND MAN is a blog in growth... if you like this, please pass it around!


We put our first offer on this house in February.  It didn’t close until April 15 and I didn’t move into the new place until July 1.  So, pretty much, we missed Spring.  Neither of us knew if we had any flowering trees or blossoms or … you know… the great happenings of Spring.

Spring is my favorite season, just sayin’…

For the last few days, I’ve been wandering around here with my mouth agape, so incredulous about the living, beautiful growing foliage around here!  So today, on the first day of Spring, I traveled around the homestead with my camera to document the Spring around here!


First, I want to celebrate that the single, one and only tree in all of the horse pastures – IS ALIVE!  I was sure Mo (the new donkey) had killed it when he stripped the bark in one afternoon.   After discovering this horrible assault against the benevolent tree, I was heartbroken.  The only tree.

But, alas, when I took a photo the other day of Finn and BG scratching on what I thought was the dead tree, I saw green!   I enlarged the photo to make sure, and sure enough – buds!!  I then ran outside to make sure of my discovery AND IT WAS BUDDING!

I’m still awestruck.  I have no idea how it is living.  It has no continuous bark!  But, it is alive so I celebrated by wrapping the crap out of it.  There is chicken wire everywhere around it and I just pray that it mends itself – somehow.  I truly have no idea how it is living.

This is the photo I took last week (Finn and BG scratching on the tree) and discovered ‘green’ on the dead tree!

Here is the Phoenix tree – arising from the ashes. I had no idea it was alive! There are buds all over it – but the right side has budded out first.

There is literally NO BARK on this tree. I do not know how this is happening!  (You can see Finn’s hair on the ground.)

Mo, the culprit tree murderer, looks on.

I wrapped every part of this tree to as high as I could reach.

Sweet Wrigley always wants to know what is going on…

It is difficult to see the wire wrap, but it is all over this tree. I will do whatever I can to keep it alive.  What a view from up there, eh?  This is where the house should have been built…


Well, I find it fascinating that I have 4 of the same type of tree, Raywood Ash, and they are all in different stages of bud.  The youngest is hardly budding.  The tweenager is barely budding.  The young adult is fully budded and the Grandpappy is just thinking about budding…

This is the youngest Raywood Ash that I purchased and have not yet planted. It is barely budding. (Yes, it is going to rain again today and this week…look at those clouds.)

This is the tweenager Raywood Ash and it has a few baby leaves.

The buds look like little pineapples or palm trees…

This is the young adult… which is 10 feet away from the tweenager, and it is in full bloom.  I don’t understand how this happens.  They get the exact same sun and light.

This is the great Grandpappy Raywood Ash. It is about 40 feet from the others. It is only barely thinking about leaves on the bottom half.


While I was in the tree wrapping mode, I decided to wrap the trees that protect Annie, Gwen, Dodger and Norma.  No one ate any bark last summer… but you never know.  So, I wrapped them.  Annie watched.

These are the great trees that shade Annie, Gwen, Norma and Dodger during the hot summer months. I wrapped them, too.  These guys are barely showing leaves.  My neighbor had no trees on her property when she purchased it 18 years ago…

Annie watched intently.


We have two trees in our backyard that are mystery trees.  One seems to be a flowering pear or something like that.  But it has no fruit.  The other is a complete mystery.

This is right outside the kitchen window! Who knew?!   So pretty and fresh!

This is the mystery tree. Those orange balls are left over from Fall.

This beautiful red tree! It is tiny and hidden behind a pepper tree… but look at it! So pretty!

I did not know Eucalyptus has these blossoms!

This (plum?) tree was not like this when we moved in. The rains really helped it come back to life!

And we have several wild rose bushes. Very nice! These guys were totally dry when we arrived.  Now look at them!  Back from the brink of drought.

And this crooked Eucalyptus. I don’t know why a tree would grow crooked when there are no other trees around it – I’m guessing it was like that at the nursery.


Yesterday, when it was sunny, Hubby mowed and mowed and mowed. Afterwards, we sat and relaxed with Scoutypants. We have a lot to do, but who knew there was so much life on what appeared to be very dead land! We have a long way to go, but the rain and manure sure helped!

MARCH BUCKET FUND HORSE, SWAYZE, NEEDS SURGERY TO SURVIVE.  His Drop in the Bucket Fund (story here) only needs $459 to give him his lifesaving surgeryJust a few drops will add up!  Thank you in advance!

Do you have Starbucks money to donate to this very handsome gelding?  He has fought so hard to live!  Thank you!!  Make a 100% tax deductible donation here!



HORSE AND MAN is a blog in growth... if you like this, please pass it around!